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Misty Malham Moor and beyond

A mixture of a day to say the least. My photo drive over the tops from Malham to Wharfedale started off cold and frosty. I stopped to take a couple of shots of the famous Eshton Trees and all seemed good. Then I hit cloudy and misty weather at Malham village which continued until I was above Malham Tarn. Consequently there wasn't  any point in stopping anywhere, whether be it to take photos or go for a short walk. Gradually though, just after I had left the tarn, the low clouds started to break up, giving a way to a gorgeous winter's day, albeit a rather cold one.

Luckily the roads were very quiet so I could basically just stop to take the odd photo or pull over if I wanted to go further afield. I had a short walk on to the Pennine Way section which comes down off of Darnbrook Fell and on to Fountains Fell which was really bracing. The ground was rock hard but I should imagine it would be rather muddy in warmer conditions. I had a field day with my camera.

Having visited many sections of the Pennine Way, I reckon the section from Gargrave to Hardraw has to be the most appealling and pleasing on the eye. The Peak District section is just peat bog after peat bog as is the section over the Northern Pennines and The Cheviot in the far North. Great Shunner Fell and Tan Hill can be just as bad depending on the weather and I've been told that the section running North from Hadrian's Wall can be pretty bleak as well. I think you can be very proud of yourself if you complete the whole walk!

My mind was taken back to last winter when Sal and I came on this road but in the opposite direction. It was another cold day and there was snow and ice on the ground. We shouldn't really have ventured over this way but the car wasn't having any trouble at all in the conditions until we came around a bend and were stopped by a man stood in the middle of the road telling us that we wouldn't make it up the next section. The fact that he'd stopped us made it almost impossible to get enough momentum going to even try it. I think I had three failed attempts to get up the slope and my clutch was smelling something rotten. On the forth go I just managed to find a bit of fresh snow and, with the help of others who had stopped, got up the slope, around the bend and on to flatter ground. I say to this day that if he hadn't have stopped me, I'd have got up it without and problem at all. It shook us up a bit as we were basically past the point of no return, there was no way we could have turned round and gone back down to Littondale. Anyway we continued our journey down in to Malham without further incident and had a drink in The Lister's Arms to steady our nerves. It's something that you laugh about after the event but at the time it is quite frightening.

Today, the good weather stayed with me until I started to descend in to Littondale where I returned to the low cloud and mist and this more or less stayed with me until I was nearing Bolton Abbey. It was just those five or six miles above Malham, when the sun broke through, which stopped my day being a total washout but it was that short break in the weather which I shall remember.

Eshton Trees

Eshton Trees

Above Malham Tarn

Above Malham Tarn

Above Malham Tarn

Above Malham Tarn

Above Malham Tarn

Fountains Fell in the mist

Fountains Fell in the mist

Fountains Fell in the mist

Above Malham Tarn

Fountains Fell in the mist

Pennine Way

Pennine Way

Pennine Way

Pennine Way

Malham Moor

Above Littondale

Above Littondale

Above Littondale

Above Littondale

Tree above Arncliffe

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